German Probate

German LawGerman ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance LawInternational ProbateLitigation in Germany

Does a German Last Will & Testament become void if the Testator later marries or has Children?

Does marriage automatically void previous wills under German law? Not automatically, but the surviving spouse and/or the child may challenge the Will for being "outdated". The German legal term is "Anfechtung" according to section 2079 German Civil Code (Section Wills & Probate), which states: Section 2079 German Civil Code Avoidance for omission of a person entitled to a compulsory portion A testamentary disposition may be avoided if the testator has omitted a person entitled to a…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
May 29, 2017
Business in GermanyGerman LawGerman ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance Law

German-American Law Firm based in Munich

Need a German lawyer who knows how to swing a baseball bat?  Looking for a German lawyer who is aware of the fact that "morning joe" is not a coffee brand and that "take me out to the ball game" does not refer to soccer fans? Look no further. The lawyers of the Munich based German corporate, litigation and probate law firm Graf & Partners LLP specialise in German American legal issues since 2003. Founding…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
February 16, 2017
German LawGerman ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance LawGerman Tax LawTrustee & Escrow Services

German Tax Clearance Certificate (Inheritance Tax)

What is required to get German assets released to British or US-American executors or beneficiaries? In order to get German assets released, the executors or beneficiaries must be able to provide the German banks or insurers with a German (or European) Grant of Probate - unless the testator has made the will in notarial form or the testator has granted a transmortal power of attorney. For more on how to access German assets without having…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
February 13, 2017
Conveyancing GermanyGerman ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance LawProperty in GermanyProperty Lease

How to sell inherited German Property

An English or American Executor finds that the Testator's Estate comprises a Flat, House or Plot of Land in Germany. What now? If the deceased owned real estate in Germany which the executor or the beneficiaries now wish to sell as soon as possible, this legal guide explains what needs to be done to sell an inherited home in Germany. The sale of the German property may be complicated further if the house or flat…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
January 12, 2017
German LawGerman ProbateGerman Tort LawGoing to courtLitigation in Germany

English Speaking German Lawyers and Litigators based in Munich

Experienced German Legal Counsel for British and American Clients Since 2003, the German law firm Graf Partners LLP with its headquarters in Munich specialises in British-German and US-German legal cases. Not only are the German lawyers at GP fluent in the English language, but they have many years of practical experience gained by working for commercial and private clients from Britain and the USA. From conveyancing of German property, drafting international agreements, representing foreign clients…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
January 10, 2017
German LawGerman ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance Law

Important Facts on German Laws of Succession and German Probate

All you need to know about German inheritance law and probate proceedings Download the free brochure provided by the legal experts on international wills, cross border probate and British-German or US-German estate administration German lawyer Bernhard Schmeilzl, LL.M. (Leicester) specialises in British-German and American-German inheritance law ever since his admission to the German bar association in 2001. Together with his team of British and German succession and probate law experts he has compiled an easy…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
January 9, 2017
German LawGerman ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance Law

What are the German Forced Share Rules?

If German Succession Rules do apply (and this is the case more often than one might think), then the surviving spouse, the children and even the parents of the deceased do inherit a portion of the estate no matter what, i.e. even if the deceased had expressly disinherited them in his Will! Under German law there exist strict forced share rules (Pflichtteil). In cases where the surviving spouse and/or close relatives, namely descendants or parents,…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
January 9, 2017
German ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance LawProperty in Germany

How to Access German Assets without having to go through German Probate

There are Practical Alternatives to German Wills German law provides for a number of legal tools which enable a testator to transfer some or all of his assets outside of the German probate rules, i.e. the transfer will then happen automatically upon the testator’s death. This has many advantages: No need for a will, nor a German grant of probate, i.e. no waiting period and no probate costs. These tools are "conditional transfers in contemplation…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
January 9, 2017
German ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance Law

Want to Inherit the Debts of your German Relatives?

Of course not! But inheriting debt from a family member who lives abroad is a real risk under German law! The concept of inheriting debts from deceased relatives stuns people, especially lawyers, from common law jurisdictions like Britain or the USA. There the basic rule is: Personal debt dies with the borrower. The executor of the estate will attempt to sell whatever collateral there is and pay off the creditors to the extent possible. All…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
December 16, 2016
German ProbateGerman Tax Law

Deed of Variation and International Succession

Careful when using a Deed of Variation to mitigate UK Inheritance Tax! The Deed may backfire if there are foreign assets or beneficiaries who live outside the UK If someone dies intestate and leaves both a surviving spouse and a child (or children), then UK inheritance tax is due if the value of the estate exceeds GBP 900,000. In these cases, it is tempting to make use of a Deed of Variation in order to…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
November 9, 2016